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Brian Willingham, CFE
Diligentia Group Inc.
Brewster, NY, USA
The transition from a professional interested in fraud to a Certified Fraud Examiner might seem like something that happens overnight. But, for Brian Willingham, CFE, President of Diligentia Group Inc. in New York, "understanding fraud is an evolving practice that takes consistent further education." Willingham wanted to take his fraud practice to the next level and knew the CFE Exam Review Course and CFE Exam would provide him with all of the tools he needed to become a certified fraud examiner, as well as the foundation and education he will need to fight fraud effectively in the future.
What led you to get your CFE credential?
I have always respected the ACFE, as well as the CFE credential, because it truly represents a fraud examiner who takes continued education and professionalism seriously. I have been an associate member of the ACFE since 2001, and after attending the ACFE's annual conference, which was a great educational experience and a good opportunity to meet other people from different fields of fraud, I felt like it was time. Like most people, I was pressed for time to devote towards taking the CFE Exam and decided that the Review Course was the way to go.
Why did you choose to attend the four-day CFE Exam Review Course in Las Vegas, Nev. last month rather than study and/or take the exam on your own?
Regardless of how disciplined you believe you are, there are always things that come up between work and your personal life that make it a constant challenge to maintain self studies. I had considered taking the Review Course for some time since it really does force you to devote a few days to intensively prepare for the exam.
What did you most enjoy about the course?
Bruce Dorris, John Gill and Ryan Hubbs did an incredible job of focusing us on the key concepts and providing a step-by-step approach to prepare for the exam. It was a great environment where I could ask questions and have one-on-one time with the instructors. With the sample exams available on my laptop, I was able to go to back to my hotel room each night and go over prep exam questions to reinforce what I learned earlier that day. Having the opportunity to take the exam upon completion of the course, as well as learning my results immediately following, were added bonuses.
Did you feel like you were prepared to take and pass the exam at the end of the course?
Absolutely. It is still natural to have anxiousness or doubt that I did not prepare enough, but after scoring well on my practice exams, I felt confident going in at the end of the course. Given the volume of information covered in the exam, I would highly recommend the course to anyone seeking an advantage to be more focused and prepared.
How do you think having your CFE will impact your practice, Diligentia Group Inc., and your fraud detection efforts?
Understanding fraud is an evolving practice that takes consistent further education. As Gill put it so eloquently during the Review Course, fraud doesn't go away, it just changes. In order to be ahead of the game in this business you have to continue to be aware of current trends, and open to new ideas and theories. The ACFE offers an endless amount of resources for people in the business of fraud. Between the educational opportunities and the network of contacts I have developed through the ACFE, I believe that being a CFE will pay back dividends in many ways for years to come.
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